Sean's Japan Travel Journal
by Sean, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto

Haradani-en Garden

It has been nine days since the cherry blossom season peaked in Kyoto. Today, I visited the popular city again to report on some locations with later blooming varieties of the sakura, and I hope this would make a good reference for visitors arriving around this time.

Ninnaji Temple
April 11, 2014 - approaching full bloom (50-80%) (Omuro Cherry Blossoms)

Situated in the northwestern part of central Kyoto, Ninnaji Temple is one of the many locations in the ancient capital that is designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Of interest here is the Goten, a residence built in the style of an Imperial Palace; the temple used to be served by head priests of relation to the imperial family.

Ninnaji is also famous for its grove of late-blooming, locally-cultivated Omuro Cherry Trees. Today, I found the Omuro Cherries soon to be at their best. Peak views should arrive before dusk falls, and remain for five days or so with co-operative weather.

Ninnaji Temple's Omuro Cherry Tree grove
Omuro Cherries
Close enough?

Haradani-en
April 11, 2014 - full bloom (Yaebeni weeping cherry trees)

About two kilometers north of Ninnaji is Haradani-en, my favorite spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) in Kyoto. The garden is somewhat out of the way (I took a taxi from Ninnaji) and it is one of the pricier locations to visit at 1200 yen, but it is worth every penny spent.

Today, the garden had a myriad of flowers in bloom, creating a vivid painting of oil on my virtual canvas. From above, the Yaebeni weeping cherries in full bloom carried out an all-out assault on my optical sensualities. "It's pretty from every angle!" was one of the many praises lavished by fellow visitors who were obviously as impressed as I was. When little children stop running around and pause to appreciate the flowers for more than 18 seconds, you know you've got a gem of a place.

Outstanding views can be expected at Haradani-en lasting a couple of days beyond the coming weekend.

Haradani-en
Main cast of today's spectacle
Many places to relax and enjoy the scenery
Another color added on the palette
Like a painting

Philosopher's Path
April 11, 2014 - beyond peak

Over at the Philosopher's Path, the season is close to its end as the last petals of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees fall. There were some late-blossoming varieties of sakura in bloom, but overall I can't recommend this as the destination for your coming weekend's hanami outing.

Philosopher's Path
One of the last survivors
Still somewhat nice without cherry blossoms

Heian Shrine
April 11, 2014 - petals starting to fall (Yaebeni weeping cherry trees)

My final stop for the day was Heian Shrine, whose garden is famous for its Yaebeni weeping cherry trees. Today, I found the colors on the cherry trees to be not as saturated as they were in my last visit three days ago. Nevertheless, the views were still good and should remain so until the weekend is over at least.

With that, I sign-off from the Kansai Region. Scott will be in the area to bring you more reports next week, so please stay tuned.

Pond in Heian Shrine's garden
Somebody inserted her head into my close up
Weeping cherry trees in the garden

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List of Posts:
2014/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2014/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumae
2014/04/23 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takato
2014/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fujigoko
2014/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2014/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hikone
2014/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/04/05 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsuyama
2014/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2014/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2014/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2014/03/06 - Shopping around Northern Osaka
2014/01/23 - Nikko in Winter

2013/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2013
2013/12/06 - Kamakura Report
2013/11/26 - Tokyo Report
2013/11/22 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/21 - Miyajima Report
2013/11/19 - Korankei Report
2013/11/18 - Kyoto Report
2013/11/11 - Sakurayama Report
2013/11/08 - Karuizawa Report
2013/10/29 - Nikko Report
2013/10/18 - Nasu Report
2013/10/17 - Nikko Report
2013/10/14 - Mount Fuji Report
2013/10/10 - Oze Report
2013/09/27 - Alpine Route Report
2013/09/13 - Nakanojo Biennale 2013
2013/08/07 - Exploring Tokyo 2: Around the Tokyo Imperial Palace
2013/05/20 - Tottori Sand Museum 2013
2013/05/07 - Fuji Shibazakura Festival
2013/05/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2013/05/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2013/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2013/04/23 - Northern Kanto Flower Report
2013/04/17 - Cherry Blossom Report: Takayama
2013/04/12 - Cherry Blossom Report: Matsumoto
2013/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2013/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Yoshino
2013/04/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Gunma
2013/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/04/01 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/31 - Visiting Shodoshima for the Setouchi Triennale 2013
2013/03/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2013/03/27 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2013/03/26 - Cherry Blossom Report: Nagoya
2013/03/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/21 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2013/03/12 - Tokyo Early Cherry Blossom Report
2013/02/17 - Tokamachi Snow Festival
2013/02/16 - Zao Snow Monster Report
2013/02/15 - Yokote Kamakura Festival
2013/01/10 - Winter Visit to Manza Onsen
2013/01/02 - Tokyo New Year Report

2012/12/31 - Sean's Travel Highlights 2012
2012/12/11 - Autumn Color Report: Tokyo
2012/11/26 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/25 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/21 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/19 - Autumn Color Report: Takaosan
2012/11/16 - Autumn Color Report: Kyoto
2012/11/15 - Autumn Color Report: Shosenkyo
2012/11/07 - Autumn Color Report: Yamadera
2012/11/06 - Autumn Color Report: Naruko
2012/11/05 - Autumn Color Report: Hiraizumi
2012/11/01 - Autumn Color Report: Kuju
2012/10/26 - Autumn Color Report: Minakami
2012/10/24 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/16 - Autumn Color Report: Norikura
2012/10/12 - Autumn Color Report: Oze
2012/10/09 - Autumn Color Report: Nikko
2012/10/05 - Autumn Color Report: Route 292
2012/09/28 - Autumn Color Report: Kurodake
2012/09/27 - Autumn Color Report: Kogen Onsen
2012/09/26 - Autumn Color Report: Asahidake
2012/09/17 - Exploring Tokyo: Gate Bridge
2012/08/20 - Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2012
2012/06/27 - Hiking at Mount Azuma
2012/06/18 - Legoland Discovery Center opens in Odaiba
2012/06/18 - Hydrangea Flowers in Kamakura
2012/06/04 - Tokyo Skytree
2012/05/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sapporo
2012/05/08 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hakodate
2012/05/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/30 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hirosaki
2012/04/29 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kakunodate
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kitakami
2012/04/28 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiraizumi
2012/04/25 - Cherry Blossom Report: Sendai
2012/04/24 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukushima
2012/04/15 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kanazawa
2012/04/14 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/11 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/10 - Cherry Blossom Report: Hiroshima
2012/04/09 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/07 - Cherry Blossom Report: Osaka
2012/04/06 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kyoto
2012/04/04 - Cherry Blossom Report: Fukuoka
2012/04/03 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kumamoto
2012/04/02 - Cherry Blossom Report: Kagoshima
2012/03/22 - Cherry Blossom Report: Tokyo
2012/03/08 - Plum Blossom Report from Kairakuen, Mito
2012/03/07 - Trip to Iwaki, Fukushima
2012/02/21 - Plum Blossom Report from Tokyo
2012/01/30 - Skiing in Inawashiro, Fukushima
2012/01/27 - Kusatsu Hot Springs